red flags in relationships, red flags, relationships, toxic relationships

I bet we have been told more than enough times to steer clear of people who exhibit red flags in relationships. The fundamental question is, what exactly are red flags in relationships or/and how can you pick them?  Sometimes the line separating red flags from normal shortcomings that all human beings have is very narrow and often, we mistake one for the other.

red flags in relationships, red flags, relationships, toxic relationships

What are the red flags in a relationship?

Red flags can be synonymous with warning signs we all should be looking out for before indulging in a relationship. Mostly, the warnings come in form of unhealthy patterns between you and your partner. The truth is, if you are not keen at the beginning of a relationship, lust or love can cloud your judgment from picking these bad traits of a person.

The most common red flags that have been discussed over and over are toxicity, violence, narcissism, gaslighting, and cheating. However, there are other very subtle red flags that can slip off our fingers without being noticed. In this article, we will discuss 6 uncommon red flags you should be looking out for in your next relationship if not the already existing one. We will also highlight 4 ( the last 4) signs that aren’t 100% red flags in a relationship but can breed problems in the future if there is no proper communication on the same.

Your gut feeling

A few weeks ago I asked my friend how things were between her and a guy she was going out with. She didn’t have a concrete answer and she responded with something like “I really don’t know what, but something is just off with him”. I told her if that’s what she feels, she doesn’t need more reasons.

Based on personal experiences and stories I’ve read and heard, some relationships are better off avoided. There are relationships that ended because they had to and they were good while they lasted. However, can we talk about those that left us wondering, “what was that?” Some red flags are invisible, and they can only be detected by your inner vibration. Trust it.

People who don’t have friends

Grown-ups have too much on their plate to be in a relationship as a partner, best friend, advisor, inner circle, boys club, and whatnot. Dating someone without friends can be too exhausting because they will need too much from you. The chances of such people being overly obsessive too are quite high. They basically have no other close person to spend their time with but you.

Most importantly, we all need at least one person to hold us accountable. Loners are lacking in this and mostly, they are only used to their way of thinking as final. Dating such a person is such a huge problem because we all need partners who are willing to listen and make compromises where need be.

Partners who are always putting you down

Relationship, Toxic Relationships, Insecure relationships, Low self esteem

Someone I know loves reading and writing. She once told me how her ex-boyfriend used to tell her the books she read don’t help her and how she’s always filling up people’s Dm’s with links to her articles. These comments got into her and at some point, she stopped writing. Thank God the relationship ended and she resumed writing.

There are partners who will weigh you down at every instant they get. If you realize someone is always downplaying your shine, it’s time to run. Such relationships will make you doubt yourself and even lead to low self-esteem. Also, most of the time such partners are narcissistic and want you to feel like they are doing you a favor by dating you with your “shortcomings”.

Frequent Lying

If your partner or someone you intend to date is a serial liar, that is not a good sign. We are often guilty of telling white lies as human beings, however, if someone is lying consistently or using deception, that’s definitely a red flag.

Being constantly lied to destroys the trust and the foundation of the relationship or destroys one that would have otherwise been built. It is also not easy to determine when someone who is always lying is telling the truth you will always be confused.

Excessive Jealousy

Jealousy in a relationship is inevitable. However, if someone is overly jealous, this may yield controlling behavior. A jealous partner will suffocate you with too many calls and texts as well as control everything you do and where you go. Controlling behavior is usually very subtle in the beginning but it eventually increases as the relationship grows. Being controlled leaves you feeling as though nothing you do is ever good enough.

According to a meta-analysis that was done in 2010, the results stated that there was a decline in the quality of a relationship with an increase in jealousy. Therefore, it is safe to say jealousy does more harm than good to romantic relationships.  In a different study done in 2014, it was found that people in relationships with a partner who was too possessive at the beginning of the relationship developed unhealthy communication styles later in the relationship.

Talking to their ex

red flags in relationships, red flags, relationships, toxic relationships

Maintaining contact with exes is pretty common. Whether it will cause problems in your current relationship is dependent on why exactly you are keeping the conversation going. Talking to exes is not exactly a red flag in relationships because there are excusable instances for example when they have a child or children together. However, It is a problem when one or both parties lack boundaries in their interactions. In most cases, people who keep tabs on their exes end up cheating with them or better still igniting the relationship they had.

They don’t share their feelings often

People may be holding back their feelings for fear of being hurt, or they need time to be comfortable and build trust before they can open up. However, there are those that don’t share because they don’t want to commit to you. The line is very thin and it is important to take as much time as possible to learn someone before falling deep.

A lack of long-term relationship experience

red flags in relationships, red flags, relationships, toxic relationships

This isn’t necessarily a red flag in relationships since there are various reasons why someone might not have been involved in a long-term relationship. However, it is important to ask questions and understand why they have not been in a long-term relationship. If it has nothing to do with their character flaws (read the previous points) then maybe you could give them the benefit of doubt. Otherwise, just read the letter and walk away.

People who don’t want kids

There are people who genuinely don’t want kids at all. Then there are those that don’t want kids with you. There is nothing wrong with people not wanting to give birth, however, if that does not conform to your needs and wants steer L. Especially if you are considering a marriage partner, it is important to ensure you have similar goals and values for family otherwise it will cause you relationship problems in the future.

Parting shot

Every time I listen to Ruger’s “Red Flags”, I imagine the many times I saw the red flags but ignored them and how much that did cost me. Never justify any red flags in relationships unless you are of course comfortable living with them in your relationship which is always the longer route.


Thank you for reading to the end.

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  1. This couldn’t have been put out here in a better way. Wheeeeeeeew. Quite heavy to digest some of the relatable truths

    1. ThankYou Njeri for reading my work and for your kind words. Put it out there by sharing the link.

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